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EIF: Guillemot Says Films Essential To Next-Gen Advantage
EIF: Guillemot Says Films Essential To Next-Gen Advantage
August 13, 2007 | By Andrew Doull, Staff

August 13, 2007 | By Andrew Doull, Staff
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In a Q&A session that followed his Edinburgh keynote, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that the publisher is undergoing a greater push toward moviemaking, adding that "if we don't do it, we won't be able to take advantage of the power of the next generation."

Following the news that Ubisoft has opened a CGI film studio in Montreal, covered at greater length in our interview with studio CEO Yannis Mallat, Guillemot spoke on cross-media efforts being undertaken that will begin with an eight-minute CGI short based on the upcoming Assassin's Creed.

"We are moving towards launching books, games and movies at the same time," he said. "The movie industry creates more ideas than us at the moment, but the more they work, the more they are coming up with the same ideas. We are working more and more on re-using the same graphics [to reduce costs], and we are going in that direction, especially for AAA products."

"We will have to start making movies," he continued, "because if we don't do it, we won't be able to take advantage of the power of the next generation. In creating movies and games at the same time, we see what we have to improve to make better games as well."

Asked about the challenges of addressing issues of character across multiple media, where a more 'faceless' character might suit games but not be as ideal on film or in a book, Guillemot admitted that "you have different experiences in different mediums."

"We try to make the products complementary in different media," he said. "The goal is not to do the book of the game, but a quality product in itself, that will help you feel more immersed in the game because you know more. It's the same in the movie."

Guillemot also spoke on the company's move this July to divest itself completely of shares of former mobile subsidiary Gameloft, leaving the two to now work simply on a "purely operational level."

"Our intention first was to buy the company," he revealed, "but their business is growing extremely fast, so they didn't want to sell. We needed the money elsewhere, so got out, step by step."

Finally, Guillemot talked more about the "collaborative-oriented title" revealed in his keynote and how the company plans to support more user-created content in games, saying that Ubisoft will "try to create as useful and easy to use tools as possible."

"We will come back to what we had on the Amstrad or Atari ST," he said, "where users could create a lot of content. The goal is to make sure our customers become creators."

"We are already sharing content across multiple platforms," said Guillemot. "We already have a system of evaluating user generated content, what are the best maps, who are the best creators and so on. The experience will be the same on both consoles - Ubisoft will help creators port across to multiple consoles. Some people will be happy to keep their content on which ever platform they are on, because their friends are on the particular platform."


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